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Master Thesis: Validation of a solar reactor for the production of solar fuels

AEE INTEC
AEE - Institute for Sustainable Technologies is a non-university research institution and one of the leading institutes in the field of applied research. AEE INTEC currently employs around 80 people from 10 different nations. With 2 dissertations, 5 to 10 diploma students, interns and student assistants, the institute also contributes to the training of highly qualified spe-cialists. In the areas of "Buildings," "Cities and Networks," "Industrial Systems," and "Tech-nology Development," the Institute deals with concepts for improving the energy efficiency of individual buildings, neighborhoods, and industrial processes by developing and applying sustainable and ecological technologies within the framework of national and international projects. In research and development, AEE INTEC combines extensive technical know-how with comprehensive experience in project management and coordination. 

Background
Solar fuels are a promising solution for sustainable energy production. By utilizing solar en-ergy, fuels such as hydrogen, C1+ compounds (e.g., methane, methanol), or C2+ compounds (e.g., ethanol) can be produced through photocatalytic or photoelectrochemical processes. They offer a renewable alternative to fossil fuels and contribute to reducing carbon emis-sions and achieving energy independence. 

Master Thesis
The master's thesis will be integrated into national and international projects on the topic of "solar reactors for solar fuel production". The main objective is to test a new solar reactor design with an optimized flow configuration for the efficient photocatalytic and photoelec-trochemical production of solar fuels.

Thesis Content

  • Experimental studies at an existing solar reactor set-up
  • Experiments elaborated at artificial and real sunlight at optimised rheological condi-tions and operation parameters
    o Sensitivity analysis of operating parameters
    o Investigation of different waste streams (e.g., wastewater, CO2)
    o Optimisation of Key Performance Indicators (product yield, system efficiency „Solar-to-Product“) and degradation efficiency (pollutant concentration, COD, etc.)
  • Defining design optimisation for the solar reactor

Methodology

  • Literature research
  • Design of Experiment
  • Experimenting on the test stand (under supervision)
  • Sampling and analysis (e.g., photometer, gas chromatograph)
  • Data evaluation
  • Preparation of diagrams
  • Mass and energy balances
  • Presentation of results
  • Reporting

What we look for

  • Master thesis written in German or English
  • Solution-oriented, creative, independent, and reliable way of working
  • Interest in renewable technologies and practical activities in the laboratory
  • Basic knowledge of mass- and energy balances and laboratory work
  • Presence at the laboratory in Gleisdorf (Austria)

We offer

  • Paid Thesis
  • Integration in running national and international projects
  • Supervision from experienced employees, competent professional support
  • Exchange in national and international consortia
  • Start: by arrangement
  • Duration: min. 6 months
  • Location: AEE INTEC (Austria, Gleisdorf)

Contact

DI Sarah Meitz
AEE - Institut für Nachhaltige Technologien
A-8200 Gleisdorf, Feldgasse 19
Phone.: +43 (0)3112 5886-451, Fax: DW 18
Email: s.meitz@aee.at

Dr. Bettina Muster-Slawitsch
AEE - Institut für Nachhaltige Technologien
A-8200 Gleisdorf, Feldgasse 19, Austria
Phone: +43 (0)3112 5886-471, Fax: DW 18
Email: b.muster@aee.at